This past weekend was my maiden voyage into Fried Pie heaven. I have never made fried pies before this past Saturday.
Okay. I will admit the statement I just made is not entirely true. I have made pies that are fried and can be eaten by holding them in one hand. Yes, I have made those. However, it pains me to admit that I have never made a true hand-made version. So, I’ve never legitimately created a homemade fried pie until this past Saturday.
Fried pies are not easy to make. When I was in college we were always having bake sales to raise money for something or other. I always brought my “fried pies” to the bake sale. Making these consisted of me buying a few cans of biscuits and a couple of cans of pie filling. I would smash out the biscuits, fill’em with pie filling, dip them in hot oil and Voila – fried pies a la college student. If we had powered sugar on hand, I would mix it with a little water for a glaze. It’s not easy to admit this now, but guess what. These fried pies were pretty good. No, they were not gourmet, but Dr. Casey and my roommates (The Chickens) liked them a lot and they always sold at the bake sale.
This past weekend, for some reason, I decided to join Nate in the kitchen and try my hand at doing fried pies the right way. I channeled my Nanny and her fried pie-making skills. I decided on chocolate and coconut cream – random choices, I know.
My Nanny made lots of fried pies throughout my childhood, but most of the time she made apricot. I don’t like apricot. When she didn’t make apricot, she made chocolate. I love chocolate.
The best part about this recipe was the crust. While fried pie dough isn’t nearly as delicate as regular pie dough, I treated it as if it were. I handled it as little as possible and let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour. In the end, I actually said this to Nate: “I think this dough may be too flaky.” Upon which he laughed me right out of his kitchen. I am going to try butter in this recipe the next time I make them. I will let you know how that turns out.
I was dreading rolling out each pie and the mess that flour makes all over the counter. It’s these things that leave me curled up in a fetal position vowing to never cook again. I had divided the dough into 12 equal parts when my knight in shining armor pulled this out of the cabinet.
As always it was glowing with possibility. The tortilla press worked like magic! We made 12 pies in about 12 minutes.
I’m not turning my back on canned biscuits and pie filling – but, I now know the truth about fried pies…I just needed a tortilla press.
Pastry for Fried Pies
This pastry recipe is enough to make 12 5- to 6-inch pies.
3 cups Cake flour
1 teaspoon Salt
¾ cup Crisco
1 Egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup Cold water
1 teaspoon Vinegar (preferably white vinegar)
- Mix together the flour and salt.
- Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender, fork, your hands, or whatever method works best for you, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir together the beaten egg with the water and sprinkle over flour mixture.
- Sprinkle in the vinegar, mixing lightly, until ingredients are well combined.
- Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Cut dough into 12 equal pieces.
I suggest using a tortilla press. Cut a Ziploc bag into two 7” X 7” pieces. Use these to keep the dough from sticking to the press. Place the dough between the pieces of plastic and press gently to make a 5-6 inch dough round. Peel it from the plastic and place on your work area.
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. milk
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
- In a saucepan combine granulated sugar, flour, and cocoa powder.
- Stir in the 1/2 cup milk and butter.
- Cook and stir until bubbly.
- Remove from heat when it starts to thicken. No more than one minute more. Stir in vanilla.
Coconut Cream Filling
2 cups milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2 cups coconut
- In a glass measuring cup mix the first 4 ingredients.
- Microwave for 3 minutes until hot. Remove.
- In another bowl whisk eggs, now you want to temper the eggs by adding some of the hot mixture into the eggs as you whisk.
- Repeat step three again, then pour egg mixture into the first bowl. Keep whisking so the eggs do not cook.
- Return to microwave for 8 minutes, remove to whisk at 2 minute intervals.
- When done this should be a thick pudding.
- Stir in flavoring and coconut and chill
To assemble pies:
- Spoon 1 ½ tablespoons (maybe two) into the center of the pie dough rounds and fold over.
- Use water to seal the edges and press the edges lightly with a fork to seal.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees and cook until a light golden color. Ours took around four minutes each.
Mix together until smooth:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2 tablespoons milk
Spoon over hot pies and enjoy!